Me hooping at the Ephrata Rec Center

Done with PT and Going Live

I am done with physical therapy (PT), and I feel pretty good!  On Sunday, I felt good enough to go the Ephrata Rec Center and hoop while Sam did his weight lifting, so I did.

Unfortunately, the gym was full of guys playing basketball, as one would expect in a gym.  Luckily, Jenny, who happened to be stationed at the front desk, said I could go into the assembly room and practice. I had a great space all to myself, and I had fun.

I noodled around for a bit, and decided to do something I had been toying with for a while; going on Facebook Live.  I had stuff with me to make a stable video, so I went for it.  I had a few likes and views!

I was able to upload the video on YouTube, so you can watch it there.  It’s pretty good, I guess, for a live video, but I want to share it with you.  I figured it was a good way to celebrate my recovery (I’m still not 100 percent, but I’m much better) and share my happiness with others.

Anyway, here’s the video.  It’s kinda long, but it’s fun and I’m having fun in it.

Pile o' hoops

Hooping it up at the Rec

I have been back to the Ephrata Rec Center a few times over the course of a few Sunday afternoons to hoop.  I know I haven’t been very post-y here lately, but I’ve been concentrating on getting back better, being bogged down at work, and just generally busy and going nuts.

Still, back to the Rec!  It’s been nice having at least part of the gym to myself for an hour on Sundays.  I did have some company one afternoon, as three young children came through to play as their dad did his work out.  The little girl in the trio was quite fascinated with my hooping, and at one point she waved to me.  I waved back.

In regards to my back and hooping, it had been getting worse, so I did have to go back to my doctor, and convinced my pain management doctor that some joint shots would be good.  My family doctor put me on prednisone…again….and increased another nerve medication drastically.  That pill has since kicked in, and I’m feeling a million times better than I did this time last week.  Yay!

So, that being said, I hope to get back to the Rec soon.  I heard rumors of hoop classes being held there in the winter, too, so keep an eye out here!

My as a crazy mad scientist. See my periodic table leggings?

This Past Weekend: I Hooped!

Photo by Sam Dixon

Yes, indeed!  I got to hoop this past weekend!  I know it’s Wednesday today, and we’re halfway to the next weekend, but I am pleased that I got hoop, and even give an impromptu performance!

Friday, the 28th, was Studio Spin’s annual Halloween party, and my husband Sam and I went.  He went as Preppy Bowie, complete with Aladdin Sane makeup, and I went as a crazy mad scientist, complete with periodic table leggings.  That’s what I wore in the above photo.

Party of the games we played at the party was to give an impromptu performance, which I did.  I asked for a hard song, and Rachel, the studio’s owner, gave me “Bad Girl” by Avril Lavigne.  Luckily, I had hoops with me, so I went to town!  It was fun, and it reminded me how much I love performing.

Overall, it was a fantastic party!

Sunday, I went to the Ephrata Rec Center for the first time with my new gym membership.  The Rec had finally processed it, and I took some hoops with me, and practiced in the gym, dodging balls from a game of kick ball and basketballs, but I had fun, even though Sam (he was lifting weights), told me about an empty class room that was open.  The door was open so I went in and had some fun, until two staff members came in and asked me to leave.  I explained how I got in there, but I had to relocate back to the gym.  Way to get in trouble your first day, Jenn.

As to hooping and my current physical therapy series, I did not do hoop moves that hurt.  Hip hooping hurt, as did leg hooping, so I avoided doing those moves. Once my sacrum is healed, I’ll be back doing all my moves.

So, yeah, that was my hoopy weekend!  I plan on going back to the Rec on Thursday, and again on Sunday to work out.  I’m looking forward to it!

Hooping while concentrating on footwork

Three Major Excuses

I’ve been stuck between a rock an a hard place, hooping-wise, for a month and a half now. The last time I was hooping was down in the Outer Banks a few weeks ago.  Here’s what been going on, as there are three major excuses affecting my situation right now.

Excuse 1:  I’m in physical therapy for the sacrum in my back.

Again, good ol’ PT.  I’m only going once a week, and I’m doing a good bit of work at home with PT, but, still, with a hurting back, it prevents me from hooping.  Well, I should say the pain prevents me from hooping.  That’s probably a better assessment.

What hooping has done to benefit my PT is that my core strength is very good.  I’m able to do a lot of the stretches a bit more ease and good form due to hooping warm ups, yoga, and well, hooping itself.  My therapist is pleased, and, truthfully, he didn’t say I couldn’t hoop.

Chronic pain makes me lazy and give out a lot of excuses.  The pain is better right now, so I need to start hooping more.

Excuse 2:  Hoop classes at Studio Spin are on hiatus right now.

My regular hoop class at Studio Spin has been put on hold right now due to a lot of factors. This has made me fall off the practice and learning wagon a bit.  I often look to those classes to keep me motivated to hoop, and to give me something to scratch my brain while learning something new in class.

At least for the next few months, I’m going to have to learn to motivate myself.  I can’t depend on someone else to do it for me.  I need to buck up and get going.

Excuse 3:  It’s colder outside and the days are getting shorter.

Yeah, fall is in full swing here in PA, and it’s harder and harder for me to get outside during the week to hoop.  By the time I get home from work, the sun’s mostly down.  My weekends are busy.  Besides, it’s been really windy, cold, and sometimes rainy.  Yuck.  Not the hooping weather I want.

So, what am I going to do about my three excuses?

I’m glad you asked.

I signed up for a program that my place of employment offers.  Participating gyms in the area will let you join for $25 a month though my health insurance.  The one my husband lifts at participates in the program, and I know they allow hoopers in the gym to practice.

I’m going to go tonight.

I’m going to start slowly, and hopefully this will get me out of my hoop slump right now.  A gym will offer a consistent place for me to get back in a little better shape, a consistent place to practice, and protection from elements outside.  I think this is starting to sound like a plan.  I will be letting you guys know how it goes.



Hannah the English Springer Spaniel. Photo by Sam Dixon.

Flooded Out

I was in the Outer Banks last week, and only got to hoop on one day.  There was a lot of pre-Hurricane Matthew flooding (luckily we missed that), and it was either raining or my back was out of whack during the rest of them.  I did get to hoop on Sunday, the 2nd, the day after World Hoop Day.

I haven’t gotten around to editing my own pictures from the OBX, so I am using one of my husband’s.  This is Hannah, and English springer spaniel he met on the beach near the house we were staying in.  She is eight, and this was her first time on the beach.  She loved it.

There have been a few factors as to why I haven’t been hooping that much lately.  First off, my back has been bothering me.  Hooping doesn’t really exacerbate it, but it’s just more of a motivating factor as to whether hoop or not.  I did start physical therapy this morning, and the therapist I’m working with didn’t say not to do it when I told him about hooping.

Second, I have been sort of burned out with hooping.  I had been pushing so hard with the recital back in August, moving, and practicing, I just needed a break.  It made me a little sad to take a break, but the good news is that I’m ready to get back into the swing of things when Studio Spin offers their next hooping series.

Well, I guess those are the only two reasons really. A third would be that I was so involved with moving I sort of ran out of time to practice and hoop for fun.  I need to do that again.

Back to that one day of hooping in the OBX….it WAS fun.  I listened to some good music on my earbuds and danced.  I hooped.  It was awesome.

So, that’s what’s up with me.  I hope to share more hooping stuff here soon again, as well as update more regularly.

Atlantic City Shore in New Jersey, USA on an early morning

Hooping on the Jersey Shore

I LOVE getting up early and going down to a beach when I have the opportunity.  Last week, I did, since I was at annual gathering of friends in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA.  We had a lovely time, and I took a hoop, of course.

One of those mornings, I made it a point to get down to the beach early to hoop.  I set my alarm for I think 7am.  When that time came, I got dressed, grabbed my hoop, and proceeded to head down to the beach.

I put my earbuds in my iPod for some music (Beck’s version of David Bowie’s “Diamond Dogs” off of the Moulin Rouge soundtrack is great to get you ready to hoop.), and walked through the casino where we were staying.  I got some weird looks and some loud comments from some loud frat boys, but it was nothing I haven’t heard before.  After I had successfully navigated the maze of slot machines, I made it out to the boardwalk and beach.

I think I hooped for about a half hour before I got tired and wind picked up, so I walked down to the ocean and got some pictures, like the one above.  It was a great way to start my day with music, hooping, and the ocean.



My booth at the Ephrata Arts and Crafts Fest

Craft Show Post Mortem

The Ephrata Arts and Craft Fest did not go well for me.  Despite me being well prepared and very enthusiastic, the turn out for the show was horrible due to the 91 degree Fahrenheit temperatures that day.  No one wanted to be out in the heat, and the people that did come didn’t appear to be buying much from anyone.

I sold one tape your own hoop kit.  One thing.  I didn’t even make back what I spent on the booth space.  To be honest, the whole thing wasn’t worth my time and effort.

I guess on the positive side, I did get my name out there, and people had fun watching me perform from time to time when I decided to do it. The booth on the right side of me didn’t show up, so I had a little extra space to perform.

I was also right near a dumpster, on the down side.  It’s sad when the people passing by are more interested in the dumpster than the booths, but it was true for Saturday.

I was packed up and ready to go by the time the show ended.  I know they organizers don’t want you to do that until the show is scheduled to end, but I didn’t care.  Neither did a lot of people who also had booths, too.  Three o’clock rolled around, and I was ready for Sam to pick me up and head into the air conditioning.

I was honest with one of the fest’s organizers who came around to see how we everyone was doing towards the end of the show.  I told her it was not a good day.  I know she can’t control the weather and they did all they could for advertising, but, hey, it still wasn’t a good experience.

So, that’s my post mortem on my time at the Ephrata Arts and Crafts Fest.  I’m not sure if I’ll do it again next year.  Probably not.  It’s just not worth the hassle.


Craft Show Flyer

Ephrata Arts and Crafts Fest

I will at the Ephrata Arts and Crafts Fest on September 10, 2016 from 9am-3pm in Downtown Ephrata, PA.  That’s on 322/Main Street.

Going to be there?  Great!  Come and visit me. I’ll have hoops for sale, hoops that kids can decorate with sticker packs that I put together for sale, as well, and other cool things to purchase.  I’ll also have a big hoop that people can try their hand at hooping with.

Support me and the other vendors by coming on out.  There is going to be music, a classic car show, and plenty of talented artisans and crafters there showing off their wares.  It should be a great day!

Final Feathery Fascinator

How To Make A Feathery Fascinator

Fascinators are a great way to add hair flair to your costuming for hoop gigs!  I’m going to show you how to make a feathery fascinator that won’t get in the way of your hoop routine, such as twirling the hoop over your head.

Let’s get started!  You will need a few simple supplies.


Fascinator Supplies

All of your fascinator supplies are easy to come by.  Some can be bought at a craft store, some can be bought at the grocery store, actually.  All of them can be bought online.

Here’s what you need:

  1. A clean, flat work space.
  2. A paper plate or paper towels to contain and protect your work.
  3. Assorted colorful feathers in different sizes.
  4. Good craft glue, such as Aleene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue.
  5. Sequins.
  6. A metal barrette.  I like using a barrette better than a large bobby pin because it’s easier to attach the feather to, and seems to stay more securely in your hair.
  7. Colored glue pens.

Play With Feather Arrangements

Play with feature arrangements

Play with your feathers to see what pretty arrangements you can come up with.  Think about layers when it comes to your selection.  Larger feathers should go on the bottom, while smaller ones should go on top.

Once you have an setup that you like, it’s time to make it happen!


Glue strip

Remove your feathers and lay down a line of glue with your craft glue.  Now it’s time to set up your feathers!

Adding Your Feathers

Adding feathers

Now, start layering your feathers on your glue strip.  Remember, larger ones on the bottom, smaller ones on top.  Keep going in this fashion until you have an arrangement you like.

Feathery Set up!

Final feathery arrangement.

Here, I have feathers ready to go.  They are all attached to the glue.  Now, you could stop here, but why?  You need some sparkle!

Sparkly Glue

Glue sticks

Now, you need to glue some sequins on, right?  The problem with the craft glue is that you may see some ugly lines underneath your sequins, but by using the colored glue pens, you get adhesiveness AND sparkle!  Lay down a few lines LIGHTLY on your feathers.  Don’t go to heavy on the glue, or it will weigh down your feathers and may stick to the paper plate.

Sequin Sprinkle


Carefully sprinkle your sequins over the glue.  Not all of them may stick, but most of them should.  Press down lightly over your glue to secure your sequins.

Final Product!

Final Feathery Fascinator

There you have it!  You now have a feathery fascinator that will with your fabulous hoop costume!  Just let it dry for 24-48 hours before wearing.

There!  How did you like this tutorial?  I hope that you are inspired and encourage to give this a shot, and perhaps make your own variations!  I’d love to see them.  Post links and photos in the comments.


Group Shot of Recital Particpants

Recital Photos

All photos were taken by Andy To. Thanks, Andy!

Photographer Andy To was on hand to take photos of the 2nd Annual Student Recital and Instructor Showcase on August 6, 2016, which I performed in.  Andy took a lot of great photos, but I want to share the ones that he took of me and during the act that Jen C. and I did.  If you want to see all the photos, and I encourage to to look at them, head on over to this Facebook album.

Me #1

Me #2

Me #3

Me #4

Me #5

Me and Jen C. #1

Me and Jen C. #2


Me #5

Jen C. #3

Jen C. #3

Me and Jen C. #3

Again, these great photos were taken by Andy To.  Thanks for viewing!